Summer 2020

Hebrew Seniorlife CPE Pandemic and Tele-chaplaincy graduates and educators during their Siyuum or celebration of completion

Are you wondering what Rev. Liz did this summer? Here is an update:

This past summer, I was given the unique opportunity to participate in a specialized Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program on “Pandemic and Tele-chaplaincy” with the Hebrew Seniorlife organization.

I was drawn to this program, in order to engage my passion for interfaith work, including spiritual care for those who claim no faith. I had been asking the question “how can we reach the isolated elderly and those who care for them during this time of COVID?” There is no easy answer, as many elders are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with technology. Others have difficulty hearing on the phone.

I was assigned to provide tele-chaplaincy support for the Community Centers of Brookline (CCB). This included presenting a weekly Christian prayer and devotional service, a Christian text study, and occasionally leading the Jewish Learning text study. Clinical hours were spent connecting with residents and staff of CCB by means of telephone calls and Zoom meetings. My colleague and I also provided spiritual support for CCB staff in a group setting. I wish that the same offerings were available in all elder housing, eldercare facilities and healthcare facilities.

I had the privilege of learning with an incredible cohort of students, including Rabbis and Rabbinical students, ministers, chaplains, and Divinity School students. The didactics presented by HSL and guest speakers included the Emotional Lifecycle of a Disaster, Scarcity Ethics, Caregiver Distress, and Psalms of Lament.

The student group worked together to present an interfaith PRIDE worship service for the HSL organization, and there were other opportunities to collaborate on programmatic offerings. 

I am so grateful for the congregation’s support allowing me to take this summer program.


Rev. Liz